Shenfield High School prepared for mass evacuation from London because of terrorist attack or flood
In the event of severe flooding or a catastrophic terrorist attack in London, a Shenfield school would be the place of refuge for many evacuees.
Shenfield High School, Alexander Lane, has been chosen for the task because it’s of Shenfield’s train links to Liverpool Street.
The school is a category one emergency rest centre – meaning that it would also be used if other parts of Brentwood had to be evacuated.
Last Friday, a two-hour trial run of the procedure was held at the school, which can hold up to 1,000 people.
A group of 63 students simulated evacuated residents in the practice exercise, which saw them queuing up ready to be registered and checked in, given a numbered wristband and led to a safe area.
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Greg Campbell, Brentwood Council’s business improvement manager, told the Recorder: “We are practising so that we are ready and prepared in case an emergency arises.
“All our volunteers are council staff and it’s important we are organised.”
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Cllr Chris Hossack, chairman of the audit committee, said: “I would say we are prepared if something happened and today shows we are determined to be prepared, but hopefully we won’t need it.”
Student Manvir Uppal, 17, said: “We had to fill out a form saying our name, address, if we had any medical problems or needed medication and we were given a wristband with a number on.”
But some students felt the process could be a little quicker and more informative.
Tejas Patel, 19, said: “It was quite organised but they could have two desks to register people.”
Lois Jacques, 17, said: “The process was slow, but overall I would say they are quite prepared.”
They were later “de-registered” and sent of to “safety”, where their wristbands were handed back and their names taken off the list.
Shenfield High School is one of a few would-be-rest-centres, operated by Brentwood Council, along with facilities including Stondon Massey Village Hall.